"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rush Limbaugh, White Trash Cake, and Me

Friends, you know how dedicated I am to gourmet cooking, and The Gourmet Cookbook in particular.

So it was with some bemusement that I regarded my Sitemeter statistics last week, which were telling me that the most popular page on my blog was not my home page, but suddenly the post entitled "Cappuccino Brownies and White Trash Cake".


Not only that, but my daily hits went from oh, about 75/day to over 2500 on Monday, 1/12.

At first I thought I was getting a lot of action on my open letter to Ruth Reichl--perhaps Gourmet staffers were passing it around and clearing out some desk space for me?

And then...my cell phone rang. It was not Ms. Reichl, it was a lovely food columnist from the West Coast named Lisa Messinger who SOLVED THE MYSTERY.

And here it is:

You may have heard of a radio talk show host named Rush Limbaugh?

I thought you may have.

Anyway, apparently he celebrated his birthday last week, and his staff made him a "White Trash Cake". 2500 people googled that term and found my post, which describes a family birthday cake my mother made for us kids while we were growing up.

Anyway, Ms. Messinger and I had a nice long talk, and then she called my mom, and here's the column she wrote about it. And, today is Lisa's birthday! Happy Birthday Lisa!!! I want to know what flavors you picked. :-)

It is ironic that this blog, which is slavishly devoted to gourmet cooking, gets mucho attention for a cake that relies heavily on Jell-O products and Cool Whip, but allow me to make the point that I made in my original post, which is that this cake borrows classic French baking techniques to make a cake that is really moist and yummy. If you HATE the dry Betty Crocker-type cake layers with super sweet frosting, then either hit a French bakery for some nice tortes layered with custard and brushed with flavored syrup, or make your own from the Gourmet Cookbook, OR for a home-grown in the USA interpretation, try White Trash Cake.

So, Rush--that birthday cake of yours was inspired by the French. What do you think of that? ;-)

Happy Birthday.

EDIT 3.11.12

Rush Limbaugh has been much in the news lately, so I just want to clarify where I stand on him. When I originally wrote this post I didn't know much about Rush Limbaugh, except that he was a particularly vitriolic radio host who seemed to hate almost everybody. I've never listened to him and probably never will. I dislike pundits of all stripes and as a progressive democrat would probably not be able to stand more than 5 seconds of his nonsense. Nevertheless:

1. Freedom of Speech means for everybody, not just people you agree with.
2. The more polarizing somebody is, the more people clarify what their values and beliefs are in reaction.

You can see that now with the backlash against the GOP's current war on women (and there really is no other way to describe this evangelically-driven legislative movement). Women all over America of all political persuasions are recoiling from this political platform. Who brought it to a head? Rush Limbaugh, with his on-air comments about Georgetown student Sandra Fluke. It's a weird kind of favor he's doing us, but there it is.

Also--I have to believe there's more to this guy than the on-air persona. Come on, he has staffers who thought it would be hysterically funny to make him a White Trash Cake for his birthday. Okay, he's paying them (good point) but he must at least have a sense of humor and that counts for something.


Jessica said...

That's a great and bizarre story! I love some of the things that people are searching for when they find my blog :)

Georgia said...

Congratulations on the rush (pun intended) to your blog!

Anonymous said...

I'm listening to Rush talk about the white trash cake now on a podcast.